WEST HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT
Becoming West Hartford’s first craft beer operation on March 25, 2017, NEW PARK BREWING boasts a rotation of ‘originally designed’ recurrent, seasonal and one-off elixirs with popular hoppy IPA, Cloudscape, leading the way. Set in a 19th century-built Industrial zoned edifice with high ceiling, cement floors and decorative wood mosaics, the casual juke joint’s a popular attraction for the so-called streetcar suburb.
Managing the 2,500 square foot warehouse, New Park owner John Doyle hired home brewing biomedical scientist Alexander Dee to man the upgraded tanks installed during Covid 19 shutdown upon my August ’21 sojourn to the Nutmeg State. Twelve reclaimed wood-planked taps at the chestnut-topped serving station provided the varied suds emanating from the windowed right side stainless steel tanks or the nearby barrel aging room.
Ten community benches, a few wood tables, a host of Edison lights and back-walled surfboards garnish the white-walled pub. A wood-barriered community tabled patio and covered outside deck area provide ample extra seating. A private backroom is setup for parties and banquets.
Starting three weeks ago (July ’21), New Park installed a wood-fired pizza hearth at the new arched hole in the wall behind the bar. Organic wine is also available.
Dewy sweet-leafed mossing and gentle Tettnang hop herbage guided Helles Lager, leaving honeysuckle-perfumed pale malt spicing on the tail end.
Mild lemon lime-salted Don Limon Gose retained a sugary lemonade twist in a limestone-soured oceanic mist.
Sumptuous Market Saison let white-peppered herbage seep into the zesty lemon spritz and mandarin orange licks of its barnyard-dried leathering.
Three fruited Mosaic-hopped Berliner Weisses then caught my attention.
Blackcurrant-clad blackberry and blueberry puree resonated for Blender Black & Blue, a tart citrus-prickled moderation.
Veritable Smoothie-styled Berliner, Blender Tango, conditioned on mango, strawberry and tangerine, stayed ultra-tart as lemony yogurt souring crowded the thickly pureed fruiting.
Mild Blender Bramble, conditioned on strawberry, blueberry and blackberry and reminiscent of a fruited cobbler, placed tart rhubarb-pied boysenberry, cranberry and pomegranate illusions in the back.
Then it was on to a trio of New Park’s durable, rangy India Pale Ales. Though I missed out on flagships, Cloudscape and Headband, these others were equally compelling.
Soft heather-like flowering caressed the mild pine-needled lemon, grapefruit and orange bittering plus ancillary peach-pineapple tang of Heather IPA.
Impactful herb-salted grapefruit, mandarin orange and peach tanginess galvanized wood-toned Expression IPA.
A maltier Imperial IPA alternative, Stereogram, contrasted sugared orange, pineapple, guava and passionfruit spicing with lightly pined herbal hop pungency above gluey wheated oats.
There were no dark ales on draught for my August ’21 visit.